Some days are more inspired than others in this house.

They’re the days when we’re outside exploring under a giant blue canopy, getting up close and personal with wildflowers or wildlife or anything my wild things can discover that isn’t an incessant loop of animation on television.

Yes, we have those days too. The days where the exaggerated cartoon voices of PBS Sprout or Ninjago are the soundtrack to our Monday. Or Tuesday or Wednesday or Thursday. Where we don’t leave the house for an entire day, where we have the same clothes on from the day before. Where we eat leftovers from last night’s dinner for today’s lunch, where we walk around with bed head knowing nobody’s going to see us anyway, save for the possibility of a random neighbor or the UPS man. Who cares — I’m pretty sure the UPS man has seen it all in his career.

And then there are those days when a burst of energy inspires me and we go outside to discover new treasures, or re-discover old ones.

This week it was a first-time visit to a historic mill from 1816, built by Native Americans. We roamed the old stone adobe building and gardens, where I’m almost sure all the lizards in California have taken up residence, because we spied about 1,000 of them while there.

Later in the week, we reunited with one of our favorite botanical gardens, where the toddler let off some energy running through shadowy groves, made cool and serene by rows and rows of giant oak trees. We spotted turtles and koi fish in tranquil ponds, played chase with neon orange dragonflies and wild bunnies, which zipped and teased us through the brush.

The baby took barefoot steps in fresh grass, while clapping his hands over and over, as if giving himself a round of applause — and tried to eat purple wildflowers for lunch.

Big brother is in summer camp most of the week and at times I feel a little sad that he misses out on these mid-week adventures with us. And then I remember he’s visiting places like Disneyland and splashing around in water parks with his buddies, having adventures and making memories and friendships all his own.

I love that he forges friendships with new friends and reconnects with old ones independently each summer, sealing their camaraderie with a handmade friendship bracelet around the wrist. Because, as he approaches 7 years old, that is much more exciting to him than hanging with his mom and baby brothers all day long.

Next week, if the stars are aligned just right and mercury isn’t in retrograde and there are no summer storms on the horizon — I’m making another attempt to shuttle all three boys back to the beach again. It might just be our final trip there this summer.

May the force be with us.



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